Senate panel approves ‘Choose Life’ license plate

LANSING, Mich.—Michigan motorists might soon be able help others choose life if legislation the Senate Transportation Committee approved today with a 7-0 bi-partisan vote becomes law.

Senate Bill 600, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton), would authorize the creation of a Choose Life specialty vehicle license plate. Funds raised from the sale of the plates would go to support organizations and projects that promote abortion-alternatives.

“Michigan residents have long supported policies that encourage alternatives to abortion and our Choose Life license plate program echoes that sentiment,” said Colbeck. “It will provide drivers a way to promote abortion alternatives and protect the lives of the most helpless members of our society.”

Senator Jack Brandenburg (R-Harrison Township) sits on the Transportation Committee and voted for the bill.

“Once this legislation came across my desk I knew that I would be supporting it. The work Right to Life does is incredibly important and I am happy to support them in any way that I can,” Brandenburg said.

The Choose Life plate will go, in part, to support pregnancy resource centers that provide direct material support to pregnant women and their babies. These centers not only provide maternity clothing, baby clothes, diapers, cribs, car seats, toys and other items, they also teach parenting skills and do much to encourage the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children.

Funding will also provide opportunities to promote adoption and educate the public and at-risk groups about abortion alternatives. Special outreach efforts to teens and college students will be an important aspect of community education.

Choose Life Michigan is a special committee of Right to Life of Michigan, established specifically to facilitate the awarding of grant funds generated by the Choose Life plate sales. The committee will be charged with raising $15,000 in seed funds to initiate the plate, directing the grant review and award process, and providing annual reports to the state on the distribution of the funds. As a committee of a registered Michigan non-profit organization, Choose Life Michigan will also undergo an annual independent audit.

Twenty-six states have authorized Choose Life license plates, generating more than $14 million for life-promoting activities.

SB 600 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

State Sen. Brandenburg introduces legislation to lower state income tax

LANSING— State Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, on Tuesday introduced legislation that would incrementally lower the personal income tax on Michigan citizens.

“Today I have introduced Legislation to restore the statutory rollback of the Michigan personal income tax rate to 3.9 percent and keep a promise to the Michigan taxpayers. My bill, which is Senate Bill 906, reduces this tax rate by 0.1 percent each year beginning in on January 1, 2014 and guarantees the tax rate will be reduced back to 3.9 percent.

“This was a promise made to the Michigan taxpayers during the budget crisis of 2007 when the personal income tax was temporarily raised to 4.35 percent, with the clear understanding that it would be rolled back to 3.9 percent permanently within a few years.  Our current tax law provides only for a one time roll back to 4.25 percent on January 1, 2013, and this is not good enough.

“We need to keep our word to Michigan taxpayers who have been hard hit by a combination of rising costs of food, gasoline, health insurance and college tuition.  These statutory tax decreases will also provide a safeguard against the creation of bigger state government as Michigan tax revenues rise because of the recovery of the Michigan auto industry.”